Yesterday, I got back from an amazing week in Scotland. I mostly stayed in Edinburgh, but I also ventured to North Berwick, the Highlands, and the Pentlands. I’m so thankful to have been kept safe and healthy throughout the week, and I am even more grateful for my friend who graciously showed me Edinburgh—her home for the last five months. I can definitely say that I am in love with Scotland, and here are a few reasons why…
Scotland is known for their whiskey, and where I was staying, there was a distillery nearby. If the wind is blowing right, you smell this yeast scent that to me smells like popcorn/hot dog buns. For some reason, I really enjoy this scent, and from now on, any yeast smell will connect me back to Scotland.
The Hairy Coo
Scotland’s highland cow, the hairy coo, is just too charming. They are these long-haired cows that really serve no purpose as far as providing meat or milk. They just mind their own business, and I find them completely charming.
The UK has it right when it comes to food. One, their scones are far superior to those in the States. Secondly, they have Digestives, which to me are like a cookie/graham cracker hybrid. The best ones also have a thin chocolate layer on top. They are the perfect end to any meal or with a hot beverage.
During my time in Scotland, I tried a variety of coffees and teas. One of my favorites was a Chocolate Abyss tea— a black tea with chocolate and coconut.
Whilst in Scotland, I tried two classic Scottish dishes: haggis and black pudding. I really enjoyed both, honestly. The haggis had great spices and was served with mash, and the black pudding was revamped by adding cheese, caramelized onion, and greens.
Finally, two of my favorite sweet treat destinations were Lovecrumbs for delicious, fresh cakes made daily (I got a slice of chocolate coconut cake) and Mary’s Milk Bar for amazing gelato ( I had a scoop of rum raisin and a scoop of salted caramel).
A Harry Potter Fan’s Dream
So much of Harry Potter was based off of Edinburgh. First of all, JK Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book at The Elephant House, a local cafe. Secondly, Hogwarts is based off of a nearby school that supposedly has four different houses. Thirdly, Tom Riddle’s grave, as well as graves that inspired the names of many characters in Harry Potter (like McGonagall), can be found in Greyfriars Kirkyard. As a Harry Potter fan, I loved seeing how JK Rowling got inspiration for this monumental series.
Edinburgh is a city with a small town feel. I love how the buildings are made of beautiful stone, and that the city has a mixture of buildings with plenty of green space. Furthermore, I love how people are always out and about walking and enjoying life (oftentimes with their dogs). The people in this city seem very relationship focused rather than work focused. This is seen primarily in how early the shops close each day. I wish we adopted more of this lifestyle in the States.
I love all that Edinburgh offers. There are shops, cafes, parks, hikes, and more. It is only a bus ride away from even more breathtaking sights, such as the Highlands—full of lochs, glens, and bens. This trip was a wonderful introduction to experiencing other cultures. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to travel; I know that traveling really is a privilege. I hope that I can use this experience (and any future travels) as a way to learn more about myself and to gain a greater perspective of other people’s lives.